South Australia’s and Victoria’s premiers have accused each other of slothfulness and recalcitrance in debate over the planned $100 million automotive fund.
The fund was announced by prime minister Tony Abbott last December, following Holden’s announcement that it would stop making car’s in Australia. The fund was to have included $60 million from the federal government, $12 million each from Victoria and South Australia, and $20 million from Holden.
Since then Toyota, the last company that had not done so, has announced that it will end its Australian manufacturing operations in 2017.
Sky News and others report that SA premier Jay Weatherill has said he made a number of attempts to convince Victoria’s Denis Napthine that the car industry was on the brink of collapse, but these concerns were dismissed.
“Poor old Denis has been asleep at the wheel, while we have been out there promoting the interests of the automotive sector in this nation,” said Weatherill.
“I was content to leave his sloth, something that was not a subject of public comment, until he has decided today to wade into the debate.”
Napthine’s government has pledged $12 million to the assistance fund.
As reported earlier in the week, SA has yet to pledge any money.
"They have been recalcitrant when it comes to putting their hand in their pocket to make a contribution to that fund," said Napthine, according to Fairfax.